Saturday, August 22, 2009

East Coast MINI-E gathering was a success!

Today's MINI-E gathering was a great success. I played host at my restaurant in Montclair, Nauna's Bella Casa. We had nine Pioneers attend, plus Marian Hawryluk, a representative from MINI USA. She also came in a MINI-E so we had nine of them parked out in front of the restaurant. There would have been ten, but unfortunately one of the cars is in for service. Luckily the owners, John Rathgeb and Alan Chadrjian live on the block behind Nauna's (crazy coincidence) and could walk to the gathering. It was really nice to meet up with other "E" drivers and talk about the issues we have had as well as how much we all love the cars. It was especially nice of Marian to come. She wasn't obligated to be there, but chose to come to answer any questions we might have and to listen to our stories and complaints. There were some complaints, as much as we all love the cars, but most of them were not directly related to the car itself, they were more about the lack of a two-way communication conduit between the people at MINI and us. There was one particular car that has been in service 5 times already and Marian promised to find out what was going on with it and get back to the owners, as they have barely been able to drive the car since they got it. Nobody else at the event had encountered anything like what they have seen and have been racking up the miles for the past two months and driving emission free. I think problems aside we all really love the cars and we made sure Marian knew that. We had a nice lunch of fresh mozzarella salad, fried calamari, hotsy totsy shrimp, penne vodka & chicken francese. I think everyone left full and very happy with how the day went. My staff later told me that while we were having our meeting, people kept walking in the restaurant and asking them what was going on with all the cars outside. It looked really cool seeing all of the MINI-Es parked in the lot next to each other. I have to give props to Don Young. He came here from Shelter Island, NY, which is all the way out on Long Island, about 130 miles away. He had to stop halfway at Stu Greenberg's and charge up. Then charge up when he got to Montclair (at Sandy Bondorowsky's) and then halfway home again at Stu's. It must have taken him 18 hours for the round trip, that's dedication! I want to thank Marian Hawryluk, Don Young, Sandy Bondorowsky, Chris Neff, Paul Heitmann, Ken Barbour, David Miller, Michael Graham, John Rathgeb & Alan Chadrjian for coming. I definitely plan on doing this again, probably in 3 or 4 months and hopefully we'll have an even larger group for that one.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tom,

    Again thanks so much for putting this together - it was a great time and so cool to see all those MINI Es lined up. Look forward to the next one!!